GUWAHATI, May 10 � Expressing concern over the government�s indifferent attitude towards the problems of street vendors, the All Assam Street Vendor�s Association today asserted that it was illegal to evict the vendors from footpaths without making alternative arrangements for them.
Addressing the media here, the AASVA members today said that the street vendors were offering valuable service to the common citizens adding to their convenience, contributing to the State exchequer in the form of taxes or fines regularly imposed on them, yet, they are subjected to harassment time and again at the sweet will of the authorities.
�Though the street vendors have become a necessity of the urban society today, this segment of people has been grossly ignored by the authorities. Though the Street Vendors (Protection and Regulation of Street Vending) Act 2014 came into being this year, little has been done to implement this Act on the ground in Assam,� said Simanta Sarma, organising secretary of the AASVA.
�As per a survey, nearly 7, 00,000 families of the State are dependent on street vending. In Guwahati alone, nearly 40,000 people are associated with this form of occupation. Moreover, many indigenous women are largely associated with roadside vending, which empowers them economically and promotes self employment among both rural and urban poor,� he added.
The vendors also demand social security for the vendors and designated vending zones after proper survey of the street vendors in every city of the State. �The survey should also identify the street vendors and the data base of such vendors should be maintained with the help of periodical reviews,� said Naren Rajbonshi, president AASVA.
The vendors further demanded valid identity cards for the street vendors within the current year and the provision to write the name and amount of the vendors who pay tax/fine to the authorities in the money receipt.
The street vendors further demanded implementation of the Street Vendors Act and appoint nodal officers for the smooth functioning of the Act and construction of Town Vending Committees having 40 per cent representation of the street vendors, and 10 per cent representation of NGOs and social organizations.